Near Luxembourg border

Public can give feedback on Belgian nuclear power plans

The nuclear reactors at the Tihange power plant in Belgium have been operating since 1985. Photo: Shutterstock

The nuclear reactors at the Tihange power plant in Belgium have been operating since 1985. Photo: Shutterstock

Belgium plans to extend the lifespan of the Doel 4 and Tihange 3 nuclear reactors for ten years, with a cross-border public consultation in Luxembourg open until 20 May.

The nuclear reactors at Doel 4 and Tihange 3, located near the Belgian-Luxembourg border, should have their life extended for ten years until 31 December 2037. The Belgian federal government adopted this plan on 1 April 2022, changing the timeline of its gradual phase-out of nuclear power.

The aim of the federal government and the energy supplier Engie is to guarantee security of supply in the winters of 2025-2026 and 2026-2027, as gas supplies from Russia have plummeted in light of the country’s attack on Ukraine and European sanctions.

The two reactors were commissioned in 1985 and were due to be decommissioned in 2025, with work to be done to prepare these plants for a further ten years of production.

Opinions or suggestions

As part of the process, the Belgian government on 20 March launched a public consultation, which will remain open until 20 May.

Citizens in both Belgium and Luxembourg can leave their opinion on the plan, including the possible environmental impact of the lifespan extension. 

Luxembourg’s government is firmly anti-nuclear and has expressed its opposition to keeping the reactors on the grid longer than expected. It has also opposed plans to extend the lifespan of the nuclear power plant across the border in Cattenom, France.

At an EU summit last week, prime minister Xavier Bettel (DP) also reiterated the grand duchy’s opposition to declaring nuclear power a green and sustainable source of energy, which would open it up to fast-tracked administrative procedures and funding opportunities. 

Comments by the public can be filed via an online form. Documents such as the environmental assessment and a non-technical summary are also available on this website. 

This story was first published on French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.